Murder Balads (1996) 1/1

31. března 2006 v 15:28 |  Nick Cave
Song of Joy
Have mercy on me, sir
Allow me to impose on you
I have no place to stay
And my bones are cold right through
I will tell you a story
Of a man and his family
And I swear that it is true

Ten years ago I met a girl named Joy
She was a sweet and happy thing
Her eyes were bright blue jewels
And we were married in the spring
I had no idea what happiness and little love could bring
Or what life had in store
But all things move toward their end
All things move toward their their end
On that you can be sure
[Chorus:]
They call me The Wild Rose
But my name was Elisa Day
Why they call me it I do not know
For my name was Elisa Day

From the first day I saw her I knew she was the one
She stared in my eyes and smiled
For her lips were the colour of the roses
That grew down the river, all bloody and wild

When he knocked on my door and entered the room
My trembling subsided in his sure embrace
He would be my first man, and with a careful hand
He wiped at the tears that ran down my face

[Chorus]

On the second day I brought her a flower
She was more beautiful than any woman I'd seen
I said, "Do you know where the wild roses grow
So sweet and scarlet and free?"

On the second day he came with a single red rose
Said: "Will you give me your loss and your sorrow"
I nodded my head, as I lay on the bed
He said, "If I show you the roses, will you follow?"

[Chorus]

On the third day he took me to the river
He showed me the roses and we kissed
And the last thing I heard was a muttered word
As he knelt (stood smiling) above me with a rock in his fist

On the last day I took her where the wild roses grow
And she lay on the bank, the wind light as a thief
And I kissed her goodbye, said, "All beauty must die"
And lent down and planted a rose between her teeth

[Chorus]


La la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la

Then one morning I awoke to find her weeping
And for many days to follow
She grew so sad and lonely
Became Joy in name only
Within her breast there launched an unnamed sorrow
And a dark and grim force set sail
(Farewell happy fields)
(Where joy forever dwells)
(Hail horrors hail)

Was it an act of contrition or some awful premonition
As if she saw into the heart of her final blood-soaked night
Those lunatic eyes, that hungry kitchen knife
Ah, I see sir, that I have your attention!
Well, could it be?
How often I've asked that question
Well, then in quick succession
We had babies, one, two, three

We called them Hilda, Hattie and Holly
They were their mother's children
Their eyes were bright blue jewels
And they were quiet as a mouse
There was no laughter in the house
No, not from Hilda, Hattie or Holly
"No wonder", people said, "poor mother Joy's so melancholy"
Well, one night there came a visitor to our little home
I was visiting a sick friend
I was a doctor then
Joy and the girls were on their own

La la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la

Joy had been bound with electrical tape
In her mouth a gag
She'd been stabbed repeatedly
And stuffed into a sleeping bag
In their very cots my girls were robbed of their lives
Method of murder much the same as my wife's
Method of murder much the same as my wife's
It was midnight when I arrived home
Said to the police on the telephone
Someone's taken four innocent lives

They never caught the man
He's still on the loose
It seems he has done many many more
Quotes John Milton on the walls in the victim's blood
The police are investigating at tremendous cost
In my house he wrote ("his red right hand")
That, I'm told is from Paradise Lost
The wind round here gets wicked cold
But my story is nearly told
I fear the morning will bring quite a frost

And so I've left my home
I drift from land to land
I am upon your step and you are a family man
Outside the vultures wheel
The wolves howl, the serpents hiss
And to extend this small favour, friend
Would be the sum of earthly bliss
Do you reckon me a friend?
(The sun to me is dark)
(And silent as the moon)
Do you, sir, have a room?
Are you beckoning me in?

La la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la
Stager Lee
It was back in '32 when times were hard
He had a Colt .45 and a deck of cards
Stagger Lee

He wore rat-drawn shoes and an old stetson hat
Had a '28 Ford, had payments on that
Stagger Lee

His woman threw him out in the ice and snow
And told him, "Never ever come back no more"
Stagger Lee

So he walked through the rain and he walked through the mud
Till he came to a place called The Bucket Of Blood
Stagger Lee

He said "Mr Motherfucker, you know who I am"
The barkeeper said, "No, and I don't give a good goddamn"
To Stagger Lee

He said, "Well bartender, it's plain to see
I'm that bad motherfucker called Stagger Lee"
Mr. Stagger Lee

Barkeep said, "Yeah, I've heard your name down the way
And I kick motherfucking asses like you every day"
Mr Stagger Lee

Well those were the last words that the barkeep said
'Cause Stag put four holes in his motherfucking head

Just then in came a broad called Nellie Brown
Was known to make more money than any bitch in town

She struts across the bar, hitching up her skirt
Over to Stagger Lee, she starts to flirt
With Stagger Lee

She saw the barkeep, said, "O God, he can't be dead!"
Stag said, "Well, just count the holes in the motherfucker's head"

She said, "You ain't look like you scored in quite a time.
Why not come to my pad? It won't cost you a dime"
Mr. Stagger Lee

"But there's something I have to say before you begin
You'll have to be gone before my man Billy Dilly comes in,
Mr. Stagger Lee"

"I'll stay here till Billy comes in, till time comes to pass
And furthermore I'll fuck Billy in his motherfucking ass"
Said Stagger Lee

"I'm a bad motherfucker, don't you know
And I'll crawl over fifty good pussies just to get one fat boy's asshole"
Said Stagger Lee

Just then Billy Dilly rolls in and he says, "You must be
That bad motherfucker called Stagger Lee"
Stagger Lee

"Yeah, I'm Stagger Lee and you better get down on your knees
And suck my dick, because If you don't you're gonna be dead"
Said Stagger Lee

Billy dropped down and slobbered on his head
And Stag filled him full of lead
Oh yeah.
HENRY LEE
Get down, get down, little Henry Lee
And stay all night with me
You won't find a girl in this damn world
That will compare with me
And the wind did howl and the wind did blow
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee

I can't get down and I won't get down
And stay all night with thee
For the girl I have in that merry green land
I love far better than thee
And the wind did howl and the wind did blow
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee

She leaned herself against a fence
Just for a kiss or two
And with a little pen-knife held in her hand
She plugged him through and through
And the wind did roar and the wind did moan
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee

Come take him by his lilly-white hands
Come take him by his feet
And throw him in this deep deep well
Which is more than one hundred feet
And the wind did howl and the wind did blow
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee

Lie there, lie there, little Henry Lee
Till the flesh drops from your bones
For the girl you have in that merry green land
Can wait forever for you to come home
And the wind did howl and the wind did moan
La la la la la
La la la la lee
A little bird lit down on Henry Lee
LOVELY CREATURE
There she stands, this lovely creature
There she stands, there she stands
With her hair full of ribbons
And green gloves on her hands

So I asked this lovely creature
Yes, I asked. Yes I asked
Would she walk with me a while
Through this night so fast

She took my hand, this lovely creature
"Yes", she said, "Yes", she said
"Yes, I'll walk with you a while"
It was a joyful man she led

Over hills, this lovely creature
Over mountains, over ranges
By great pyramids and sphinxs
We met drifters and strangers

Oh the sands, my lovely creature
And the mad, moaning winds
At night the deserts writhed
With diabolical things

Through the night, through the night
The wind lashed and it whipped me
When I got home, my lovely creature
She was no longer with me

Somewhere she lies, this lovely creature
Beneath the slow drifting sands
With her hair full of ribbons
And green gloves on her hands
WHERE THE WILD ROSES GROW
[Chorus:]
They call me The Wild Rose
But my name was Elisa Day
Why they call me it I do not know
For my name was Elisa Day

From the first day I saw her I knew she was the one
She stared in my eyes and smiled
For her lips were the colour of the roses
That grew down the river, all bloody and wild

When he knocked on my door and entered the room
My trembling subsided in his sure embrace
He would be my first man, and with a careful hand
He wiped at the tears that ran down my face

[Chorus]

On the second day I brought her a flower
She was more beautiful than any woman I'd seen
I said, "Do you know where the wild roses grow
So sweet and scarlet and free?"

On the second day he came with a single red rose
Said: "Will you give me your loss and your sorrow"
I nodded my head, as I lay on the bed
He said, "If I show you the roses, will you follow?"

[Chorus]

On the third day he took me to the river
He showed me the roses and we kissed
And the last thing I heard was a muttered word
As he knelt (stood smiling) above me with a rock in his fist

On the last day I took her where the wild roses grow
And she lay on the bank, the wind light as a thief
And I kissed her goodbye, said, "All beauty must die"
And lent down and planted a rose between her teeth

[Chorus]
The Curse Of Millhaven
I live in a town called Millhaven
And it's small and it's mean and it's cold
But if you come around just as the sun goes down
You can watch the whole town turn to gold
It's around about then that I used to go a-roaming
Singing La la la la La la la lie
All God's children they all gotta die

My name is Loretta but I prefer Lottie
I'm closing in on my fifteenth year
And if you think you have seen a pair of eyes more green
Then you sure didn't see them around here
My hair is yellow and I'm always a-combing
La la la la La la la lie
Mama often told me we all got to die

You must have heard about The Curse Of Millhaven
How last Christmas Bill Blake's little boy didn't come home
They found him next week in One Mile Creek
His head bashed in and his pockets full of stones
Well, just imagine all the wailing and moaning
La la la la La la la lie
Even little Billy Blake's boy, he had to die

Then Professor O'Rye from Millhaven High
Found nailed to his door his prize-winning terrier
Then next day the old fool brought little Biko to school
And we all had to watch as he buried her
His eulogy to Biko had all the tears a-flowing
La la la la La la la lie
Even God's little creatures, they have to die

Our little town fell into a state of shock
A lot of people were saying things that made little sense
Then the next thing you know the head of Handyman Joe
Was found in the fountain of the Mayor's residence
Foul play can really get a small town going
La la la la La la la lie
Even God's children all have to die

Then, in a cruel twist of fate, old Mrs Colgate
Was stabbed but the job was not complete
The last thing she said before the cops pronounced her dead
Was, "My killer is Loretta and she lives across the street!"
Twenty cops burst through my door without even phoning
La la la la La la la lie
The young ones, the old ones, they all gotta die

Yes, it is I, Lottie. The Curse Of Millhaven
I've struck horror in the heart of this town
Like my eyes ain't green and my hair ain't yellow
It's more like the other way around
I gotta pretty little mouth underneath all the foaming
La la la la La la la lie
Sooner or later we all gotta die

Since I was no bigger than a weavil they've been saying I was evil
That if "bad" was a boot that I'd fit it
That I'm a wicked young lady, but I've been trying hard lately
O fuck it! I'm a monster! I admit it!
It makes me so mad my blood really starts a-going
La la la la La la la lie
Mama always told me that we all gotta die

Yeah, I drowned the Blakey kid, stabbed Mrs. Colgate, I admit
Did the handyman with his circular saw in his garden shed
But I never crucified little Biko, that was two junior high school psychos
Stinky Bohoon and his friend with the pumpkin-sized head
I'll sing to the lot, now you got me going
La la la la La la la lie
All God's children have all gotta die

There were all the others, all our sisters and brothers
You assumed were accidents, best forgotten
Recall the children who broke through the ice on Lake Tahoo?
Everyone assumed the "Warning" signs had followed them to the bottom
Well, they're underneath the house where I do quite a bit of stowing
La la la la La la la lie
Even twenty little children, they had to die

And the fire of '91 that razed the Bella Vista slum
There was the biggest shit-fight this country's ever seen
Insurance companies ruined, land lords getting sued
All cause of wee girl with a can of gasoline
Those flames really roared when the wind started blowing
La la la la La la la lie
Rich man, poor man, all got to die

Well I confessed to all these crimes and they put me on trial
I was laughing when they took me away
Off to the asylum in an old black Mariah
It ain't home, but you know, it's fucking better than jail
It ain't such bad old place to have a home in
La la la la La la la lie
All God's children they all gotta die

Now I got shrinks that will not rest with their endless Rorschach tests
I keep telling them they're out to get me
They ask me if I feel remorse and I answer, "Why of course!
There is so much more I could have done if they'd let me!"
So it's Rorschach and Prozac and everything is groovy
Singing La la la la La la la lie
All God's children they all have to die
La la la la La la la lie
I'm happy as a lark and everything is fine
Singing La la la la La la la lie
Yeah, everything is groovy and everything is fine
Singing La la la la La la la lie
All God's children they gotta die
CROW JANE
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane
Horrors in her head
That her tongue dare not name
She lives alone by the river
The rolling rivers of pain
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh

There is one shining eye on a hard-hat
The company closed down the mine
Winking on waters they came
Twenty hard-hats, twenty eyes
In her clapboard shack
Only six foot by five
They killed all her whiskey
And poured their pistols dry
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh

Seems you've remembered
How to sleep, how to sleep
The house dogs are in your turnips
And your yard dogs are running all over the street
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh

"O Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson
Why you close up shop so late?"
"Just fitted out a girl who looked like a bird
Measured .32, .44, .38
I asked that girl which road she was taking
Said she was walking the road of hate
But she stopped on a coal-trolley up to New Haven
Population: 48"
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh

Your guns are drunk and smoking
They've followed you right back to your gate
Laughing all the way back from the new town
Population, now, 28
Crow Jane Crow Jane
Crow Jane Ah hah huh
 

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